Match Previews

Manchester United team news: Players to be assessed on Saturday

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Read the full preview ahead of Saturday's Emirates FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United.

By Charlie Hanson • 21 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman and Evan Ferguson went off injured in the first half with injuries against Chelsea last weekend.

Albion take on Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday for a place in the Emirates FA Cup final, kick-off 4.30pm.

We head into the game having already beaten United this season after Pascal Gross netted a brace at Old Trafford in a 2-1 victory – our first win there – on the opening day of the campaign.


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Extended PL Highlights: Man Utd 1 Albion 2

Erik ten Hag’s side were beaten 4-0 by Brentford the following week, but since then the Red Devils have been in excellent form.

They are in a Champions League spot having claimed wins over the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as a victory over Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final when they claimed their first piece of silverware since 2017. Whatever happens on Sunday this campaign will go down as a successful one.

United have had to beat Everton, Reading, West Ham and Fulham to reach this stage of the FA Cup and have done so by a 3-1 scoreline in every game.

Albion have seen off Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Stoke City and Grimsby Town, reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 2019.

That day they lost 1-0 to Manchester City, but the feeling is Sunday could be a lot different. Albion had lost seven of their 11 Premier League matches prior to that trip to Wembley, and we finished the season two points above the relegation zone.

In contrast, Roberto De Zerbi’s team have a target of European football for next season.

With seven wins in their 13 Premier League games in 2023, Albion’s form heading into Sunday puts them in a great position to try and reach their first major cup final since 1983.

Team news

Asked in his press conference on Friday afternoon, Roberto De Zerbi revealed that no one been completely ruled out for Sunday's game.

"The situation with their injuries is not clear yet. We have another two days and we have time to understand and analyse the decision. Jason Steele is available, but I don't know if he's 100% fit."

United player to watch

The return of United’s top scorer Marcus Rashford will delight Erik ten Hag. The forward limped off against Everton earlier on this month, but made his return to action on Thursday night, playing the second half as United were beaten 3-0 by Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-final. The 25-year-old has 28 goals in all competitions so far this season.

Match stats

Manchester United have won all five of their FA Cup ties against Brighton, most recently in the 2017-18 quarter-final. 

Brighton have won their last two meetings with Manchester United in all competitions, as many as they had in their previous 17 (D2 L12).

Brighton are appearing in their third FA Cup semi-final – they beat Sheffield Wednesday to reach the final in 1983, and lost to eventual winners Manchester City in 2019.

This will be Manchester United's 31st appearance in the FA Cup semi-final, more than any other team in the competition's history. Having won 13 consecutive semi-final ties between 1976 and 2007, the Red Devils have now lost three of their last five at this stage, most recently against Chelsea in 2020.

Victory for Man Utd will see them equal Arsenal for the reaching the most FA Cup finals (21). The Red Devils have already won the League Cup this season and could reach the final of both major domestic competitions in a campaign for the third time, previously doing so in 1982-83 and 1993-94.

Brighton have never won a competitive match at Wembley Stadium, drawing one and losing four of their five visits. This run started against Manchester United in the 1983 FA Cup final, drawing 2-2 and then losing 4-0 in a replay.

All four of Manchester United's FA Cup games this season have been 3-1 wins, with their last 11 goals in the competition all coming in the second half of games. The last team to reach the FA Cup final while scoring at least three goals in every game were Manchester City in 1925-26.

Brighton have eliminated just one fellow Premier League side in the FA Cup this season, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the fourth round. In FA Cup history, there have been just four occasions of a team eliminating both Liverpool and Man Utd in a single campaign, with three of these coming within the last 15 years (Wolves 1948-49, Everton 2008-09, Wolves 2018-19, Chelsea 2019-20).

18-year-old Evan Ferguson is Brighton's top scorer in the FA Cup this season with three goals. The last player to net more in an FA Cup campaign for the Seagulls was Jake Robinson (4 in 2006-07), while the last teenager to score more in a single season was Kelechi Iheanacho in 2015-16 (4).

Kaoru Mitoma has either scored (2) or assisted (2) a goal in all four of his FA Cup games for Brighton. The last player to be involved in a goal in each round of the competition from the third round to the semi-final was Romelu Lukaku in 2017-18.

Marcus Rashford has scored twice at Wembley for Manchester United, doing so against Tottenham in the 2018-19 Premier League and against Newcastle in this season's League Cup final. He could become the fourth Man Utd player to score at Wembley in three different competitions, after Mark Hughes (FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield), Wayne Rooney (Champions League, League Cup, Community Shield) and Jesse Lingard (FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield).

Match officials

Referee - Craig Pawson

Assistant Referee 1 - Ian Hussin

Assistant Referee 2 - Marc Perry

Fourth Official - Robert Jones

Reserve Assistant Referee - Steven Meredith

Video Assistant Referee - Michael Oliver

Additional Video Assistant Referee - Matthew Wilkes

If the scores are level after 90 minutes there will be 30 minutes extra time followed, if necessary, by a penalty shoot-out.